Black Forest gâteau


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Chocolate sponge

Vanilla and white chocolate mousse

  • 100g of white chocolate couverture pistoles, or white chocolate buttons
  • 1 gelatine leaf, softened in cold water
  • 200g of double cream
  • 2 vanilla pods, split and seeds scraped
  • 300g of double cream, whipped to soft peaks

Dark chocolate délice

  • 350g of 55% chocolate pistoles, or dark chocolate buttons
  • 200ml of cream, whipped to soft peaks
  • 100g of egg yolk
  • 50g of caster sugar
  • 250ml of whole milk
  • 250ml of cream

Chocolate feuillantine

  • 125g of milk chocolate
  • 500g of praline paste, 50% hazelnut, 50% almond blended together
  • 250g of feuilletine


For the chocolate sponge, place the egg whites in the bowl of a food mixer with a whisk attached. Set to a medium to high speed and whisk until the egg whites start to increase in volume, then slowly add the sugar. Continue to whisk until the meringue has reached medium peaks
Preheat the oven to 170˚C/gas mark 3-4. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a bain marie. In a separate bowl, sift the cocoa powder over the egg yolks, whisking thoroughly to combine. Slowly pour and continue to whisk in the melted butter. Remove from the heat and allow to cool before gently folding in the meringue, 1/3 at a time to incorporate as much air as possible
Line a shallow baking tray with parchment and evenly spread out the chocolate sponge mix. Place into the oven for 10 minutes, then remove and allow to cool completely before handling
Use a 6cm pastry cutter to make 16 rounds of the sponge. Use 8 of of the sponge rings as the base and place into a high sided 6cm pastry ring. Reserve the other 8 round until later
For the vanilla and white chocolate mousse, pour 200ml of double cream into a pan with the vanilla. Bring to the boil and then remove from the heat
  • 200g of double cream
  • 2 vanilla pods
Place the white chocolate into a bowl and pass the hot vanilla cream through a fine chinoise onto the chocolate, stirring to dissolve. Add the softened gelatine and whisk to combine. Set aside to cool slightly
While the white chocolate mix is cooling, use a pastry brush to soak the chocolate sponge base in the kirsch, reserved from the griottine cherries. Once the chocolate mix is cool, fold in 300ml of whipped double cream. While still runny, pour the white chocolate mix over the soaked sponge to create a 2nd layer, around 5mm in thickness
  • 300g of double cream, whipped to soft peaks
Remove the pips from the griottine cherries, cut in half and place seven halves into each of the 8 rings on top of the white chocolate layer. Press down firmly so the white chocolate mixture fills out all the gaps between the two layers of sponge
Use up any leftover liquid from the griotinne cherries to brush the top layer of chocolate sponge before pressing the top layer lightly down into the ring. Set in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours
For the dark chocolate délice, combine the cream and milk in a pan and bring to the boil. Meanwhile, whisk together the yolks and sugar in a large bowl until smooth and pale in colour
  • 250ml of whole milk
  • 250ml of cream
  • 100g of egg yolk
  • 50g of caster sugar
Slowly add the cream mixture to the yolks and sugar while whisking continuously. Return the liquid to the pan to make a crème anglaise. Stir on the heat until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. When it is ready, measure out 500ml and set aside
Melt the dark chocolate in a large bowl over a bain marie. While the crème anglaise mix is still hot, slowly pour into the chocolate, in three parts, whisking as you go. Allow to cool to 37˚C
As the chocolate mixture is cooling to temperature, gently fold in the cream. Pour the mix into the gâteau rings, covering the top layer of sponge. Allow to set for a minimum of 4 hours
  • 200ml of cream
For the feuillantine, combine the praline paste and chocolate and melt over a bain marie until smooth in texture. Add the crispy feuillantine to the chocolate mix and stir to combine
Prepare 2 sheets of greaseproof paper (39 x 27cm). Place one sheet down on a work surface and then pour and spread the mixture across the sheet. Place the second layer of greaseproof paper on top and use a rolling pin to flatten and create a thin, even layer of chocolate. Place onto a tray to set in the freezer
Take a 6cm pastry cutter and dip into hot water for 15 seconds, wipe dry and cut into the feuillantine. Repeat until you have 8 discs. Place the discs into a slightly off centre position on each plate
For the garnish, whip the cream to medium peaks and place in a piping bag with a small star shaped nozzle. Slice the cherries into quarters
Run a hot knife along the insides of the moulds to dislodge the gateau and then slide out gently. Roll each gateau in the grated dark chocolate to evenly coat the sides
To serve, place the finished gateau on top of each feuillantine. Pipe a small rosette of cream on top with 2 pieces of fresh cherry. Garnish with a fresh mint leaf, a touch of cream a slice of cherry and serve
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